2020 Murie Award - Jennifer A. Guyton

The first recipient of the Murie Family Conservation Award is Dr. Jennifer A. Guyton, recent graduate from Princeton University and current National Geographic–Fulbright Digital Storytelling Fellow. Since 2013, Dr. Guyton has worked in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Africa. Her recent paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution on the control of the alien invasive Mimosa pigra in Gorongosa by large mammalian herbivores has given scientists important insights into the management of the habitats of those species. This is very relevant because Gorongosa National Park is fast recovering from a catastrophic decline in its large mammal population during the long period of the Mozambican civil war and its aftermath. In addition to her PhD research, Dr. Guyton participated in the parks small mammal surveys and eventually became the small mammal specialist, conducting surveys for mice, rats, shrews, and bats. She has since continued the biodiversity surveys each year for bats, having censused 37 species of bat in the park. The survey eventually lead to the discovery of three entirely new species of bat, some of which may only occur in the Park. Her research on bats in Gorongosa is soon to become its own field guide. Along with the extensive field based conservation biology work, she has made it a point to share her experience and her life through a camera lens. Through her photography of wildlife and African mammals, Dr. Guyton has become a National Geographic Explorer, Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow, and a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers. She has won numerous awards with her wildlife conservation based photography, along the way writing articles for National Geographic and the BBC.